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Home > World

WAWIBF... The Washington Moonies

26 June 2004

The Reverend Sun Myung Moon was born in Korea on January 6th, 1920, and whether he was born dangerously insane or had dangerous insanity thrust upon him ten years later when his parents found Christ is impossible to tell. But one thing is for sure: by the time he was fifteen and Jesus appeared to him on a Korean mountainside, telling him to complete the construction of God's Kingdom on earth and bring peace to the whole of humankind, he was long gone.

He began preaching his version of Christianity in 1946 in North Korea, where he was imprisoned by Communists, almost worked to death and then, at the very last minute - on the day of his execution no less - saved by invading Americans. Apparently.

In South Korea in 1954 he founded the Unification Church and set about building his multi-billion dollar business empire. In the Seventies he moved to New York and acquired a reputation for evading tax, marrying en masse, and indoctrinating hordes of the weak-willed and small-minded to raise funds for him. In 1984, he went back to prison for income tax evasion. Since then, if you weren't deliberately looking out for him, you might imagine he'd simply gone away. Not so.

This week Father Moon is back in the news. What's odd is that the reason he is back in the news - an event in the US Senate in which he was crowned King of the Known Universe - actually took place in March. But strangely, no-one seemed interested. Odd. It is after all a very interesting story.

To say that Moon was crowned King of the Known Universe is probably a bit of an exaggeration. Or else an understatement. It's difficult to tell. Essentially, in a ceremony organised by Moon's own newspaper, The Washington Times, and Moon's own whatever-the-hell-it-is, the International Interreligious Federation for World Peace, Moon himself stated that: 'Emperors, kings and presidents have declared to all heaven and Earth that Reverend Sun Myung Moon is none other than humanity's saviour, Messiah, returning Lord and true parent.' He also said: 'Hitler and Stalin have found strength in my teachings, mended their ways and been reborn as new persons.' He's a one, that Reverend Moon.

Present in Capitol Hill to applaud humanity's saviour, messiah, returning Lord and true parent were more than a dozen Republican and Democratic members of Congress, all of whom immediately after the event began to distance themselves from it. Curt Weldon, Congressman for Pennsylvania, denied having attended, then, when he was shown photographs of himself at the event and reminded of the speech he made about his recent trip to Libya, he remembered - 'Oh, *that* Reverend Sun Myung Moon!' He then said, through his
spokesman, that he 'was not there for the crowning' and 'had no idea that the Reverend Moon was going to be at this event... If we had known that Reverend Moon was going to attend the event,' his spokesman continued, 'the congressman likely would not have attended.'

Meanwhile, when pressed, Sanford Bishop, Democratic representative for Georgia and Congressional Co-Chair for the event, said, 'My Messiah is Jesus Christ.' And so on.

So why on earth did they attend? Well, perhaps because the Reverend Moon is one of the most powerful and influential men in American politics. As well as the abovementioned business concerns, this stark raving maniac also owns the hugely prominent United Press International and has had very close and mutually rewarding relationships with some of the most important (and despicable) men of the last century, including Richard Nixon, Charlton Heston, Oliver North, Jerry Falwell and, of course, George Bush Senior. So perhaps the surprise should not be that so many Senators and influential men in suits were there, but so few.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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